China's Yanfeng Visteon and France's Plastic Omnium Auto Exterior are forming a joint venture to make plastic exterior products.
Paris-based Cie. Plastic Omnium signed a deal March 1 to acquire a 49.9 percent stake in an existing Yanfeng Visteon facility to create Yanfeng Plastic Omnium Automotive Exterior Systems Co. Ltd., or YFPO. The firms announced the deal April 17.
Yanfeng Visteon's spokeswoman said the existing facility in Anting, a suburb of Shanghai, was one of her company's first facilities in China and currently produces exterior parts.
``This joint venture will bring new technology and new customer relationships to Yanfeng Visteon to build upon our already solid customer relationships that we have in China. Additionally, Plastic Omnium's investment in the business will support future expansion plans with plans for additional exterior facilities in China,'' she said.
The current facility produces exterior parts such as the front- and rear-bumper fasica, for Shanghai Volkswagen, Shanghai General Motors, Changan Ford Mazda and BBDC Beijing-Benz DaimlerChrysler.
Yanfeng Visteon dominates China's interior and exterior automotive components industry, and is a joint venture between Visteon Corp. of Van Buren Township, Mich., and Shanghai Automotive Corp.
For Plastic Omnium the investment represents a leap into the China market that the company hopes will provide annual sales of around US$271.9 million by 2012. Prior to 2006, the company had no facilities in China. But now, in addition to the latest deal, Omnium also is in the process of entering the plastic fuel-tank market in China, through Inergy Automotive Systems, Omnium's joint venture with Solvay SA of Brussels, Belgium. Inergy is building a plant in Wuhan that is scheduled to come on stream in 2008.
Plastic Omnium reported sales of US$3.1 billion in 2006, and Visteon Corp. reported sales of US$11.4 billion.